Sordid Lives [2000]

If you've got a taste for big hair, broad Texas accents, and gay rights, this mixture of white-trash comedy and coming-out melodrama is for you. Sordid Lives starts out as chicken-fried farce, as a funeral is prepared for a woman who died when she tripped over her adulterous lover's wooden legs; about midway the emphasis shifts to a drag queen unfairly held in a mental institution and the dead woman's grandson, an actor in Los Angeles who hasn't come out to his mother. The tone shifts wildly, and the humor depends on your fondness for the white-trash genre--if you like it, this will tickle your ribs; if you don't, it'll fall flat as the panhandle landscape. But it must be said that the cast (including Bonnie Bedelia, Beau Bridges, Delta Burke, and Olivia Newton-John) dives right in, no matter how over-the-top their characters get. --Bret Fetzer

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